WeWork this morning told employees that it was on a $1.5 billion revenue run rate through the end of Q1, just hours after one of its investors let slip that the company is raising new funding at around a $35 billion valuation.
But perhaps WeWork's most important quarterly metric doesn't have a dollar sign in front of it. That would be an 82% occupancy rate at the end of March, which is up from 73% from one year earlier despite adding sites in 33 additional cities and nine new countries.
WeWork didn't discuss the new fundraise with employees. That tidbit came via Rajeev Misra, a top manager with WeWork investor SoftBank, while speaking at a conference in London. The disclosure caused a fire drill in Wework's executive offices, and raised serious questions over if Misra (who doesn't sit on WeWork's board) violated U.S. general solicitation regulations.
• Troubled private equity firm Abraaj Group today filed an application for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands. This comes as a second creditor (Auctus Holdings) joined the Kuwaitis in requesting an immediately wind-down.
• IP-oh-no: M17 Entertainment, a Taiwan-based entertainment streaming company, priced its IPO last week but then confusingly killed the listing. Now it's blaming its underwriters — including lead Citigroup — for an unspecified "settlement issue." In fact,
Comcast yesterday topped Disney's bid for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, with a $65 billion all-cash offer.
• Lufax, a Chinese online wealth management platform, is seeking to raise upwards of $2 billion in new funding at a $40 billion valuation, per Reuters. The company had been expected to go public already in Hong Kong, but delayed the offering. http://axios.link/8jBC
🚑 Yaoshibang, a Chinese online pharmacy, raised nearly $66 million in Series C funding co-led by Shunwei Capital and DCM Ventures. http://axios.link/2wLV
• Pipedrive, an Estonia-based sales software startup, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Insight Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners co-led, and were joined by Rembrandt Venture Partners and Atomico. http://axios.link/qYrY
• PatSnap, a Singapore-based patent and R&D platform, raised $38 million in Series D funding co-led by return backers Sequoia Capital and Shunwei Capital. http://axios.link/9eWL
🚑 Mindstrong Health, a Palo Alto-based developer of technology to detect brain health deterioration, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Bezos Expeditions and Decheng Capital were joined by return backers Optum Ventures, Arch Venture Partners and Foresite Capital. www.mindstronghealth.com
🚑 Benchling, a collaborative software suite for life sciences researchers, raised $14.5 million in new funding. Benchmark led, and was joined by F-Prime Capital and return backer Thrive Capital. http://axios.link/t4XJ
• Sphero, a Boulder, Colo.-based toy robotics company (the one that made BB8), raised $12 million in new funding. No investors were disclosed, but past backers include Foundry Group and Shea Ventures. http://axios.link/M6tD
• Chowbotics, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of salad and meal-making robots, raised $11 million in Series A-1 funding co-led by Foundry Group and Techstars Ventures. http://axios.link/ZoHU
• Farmdrop, a British online grocery delivery platform, raised £10 million in Series B funding from LGT Impact Ventures, Belltown Ventures and return backer Atomico. http://axios.link/IyEe
• Quovo, a New York-based data analytics platform for financial accounts, raised $10 million in new Series B funding from Portag Ventures, IGM Financial, Salesforce Ventures and Great West-Lifeco. www.quovo.com
• Inspo Network, a Seattle-based platform that connects lifestyle content creators with brands, raised $5.5 million in seed funding led by PSL Ventures. http://axios.link/Z5YJ
• Belcan, a Cincinnati-based portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, has acquired Allegiant, an Indianapolis-based professional staffing company for such sectors as auto OEMs. www.allegiantworks.com
🚑 Cressey & Co. has acquired Elite Dental, a Chicago-based dental support organization. www.elitedentalpartners.com
• Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired GSM Outdoors, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based provider of branded accessories for the hunting and sport shooting markets, from Huron Capital Partners. www.gsmoutdoors.com
🚑 Sirtex Medical (ASX: SRX) is recommending a A$1.87 billion takeover bid from China’s CDH Investments over an agreed-upon billion deal with Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), which had been 20% lower. http://axios.link/RpaH
• TA Associates has acquired and merged Global Software and InsightSoftware International, a pair of ERP reporting and and corporate performance management software companies. The combined company will be based in Raleigh. www.insightsoftware.com
• Thoma Bravo has acquired and merged MeridianLink (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and three divisions of CRIF Lending Solutions (Atlana), to create a single loan origination and new account opening platform. CRIF will be a minority shareholder in the combined company. www.meridianlink.com
• Avalara, a Seattle-based provider of transaction tax compliance software, increased its IPO price range from $19-$21 to $21-$23. It still plans to offer 7.5 million shares and trade on the NYSE (AVLR). It reports a $15 million net loss on $61 million in revenue for Q1, and raised nearly $400 million from firms like Sageview (27.1% stake), Warburg Pincus (27.1%) and Battery Ventures (9.9%). www.avalara.com
⛽ Chara Solutions, a Louisville, Ky.-based provider of environmental and maintenance services to coal and nuclear power plants, raised $88 million in its IPO. The cmpany priced 7.4 million shares at $12 (below $16-$18 range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker CHRA. www.charah.com
• U.S. Xpress Enterprises, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based trucking company, raised $289 million in its IPO. The company priced 18.1 million shares at $16 (below range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker USX.
• Uxin, a Chinese used car marketplace, set IPO terms to 38 million shares at $10.50-$12.50. It would have a fully diluted market value of $3.5 billion, were it to price in the middle. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq (UXIN) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter, and reports a $421 million net loss on $299 million in revenue for 2017. It raised over $950 million from firms like Jeneration Capital (22% pre-IPO stake), Warburg Pincus (14%), Baidu (10%), Tiger Global (9%), Hillhouse Capital (8%) and Coatue Management. http://axios.link/N2aY
⛴ Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) has agreed to acquire a 67% stake in luxury cruise operator Silversea Cruises at an enterprise value if around $2 billion.
• Greystar Real Estate Partners is in exclusive talks to buy student housing company Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR) for around $3.1 billion, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/icFU
• Tencent is in talks to invest more than $500 million for a 10% stake in South Korean game developer Bluehole, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/19Wo
• True Ventures is raising $325 million for its sixth early-stage fund and $325 million for its third "select" fund, per SEC filings.
• Frederique Dame, who stepped down as a product and engineering manager for Uber in late 2016, has joined GV as a partner. http://axios.link/rGGs
• Index Ventures has promoted Mark Goldberg to partner. He had joined the firm in late 2015 from Dropbox. www.indexventures.com
🚑Dirk Kersten is leaving Intel Capital to join Forbion, a European life sciences VC firm, as a general partner. www.forbion.com